Create FTP and HTTP Download Links

For those of us who routinely move large files around the Internet like chess pieces, sending large files as email attachments can be a dead end game.

It is not uncommon for large email attachments to be lost in the vapors or bounced back as undeliverable as they encounter system bottlenecks during their journey.

The elegant, impressive solution is to upload the large file to a web server, then create a download link in your email.

Most recipients know what to do when they receive these emailed links. If their email is configured as HTML, they might be able to click on the link to initiate the download. If not, they copy the link (highlight the link, right click/copy), then paste it into the address bar of their browser.

You can create download links if you have the ability to upload files to a web server. A web server is a computer continuously attached to the Internet, designed to host websites. To send files to our web server, we use Wise-FTP.

1. Upload the File

Upload large file to your web server                      Click to enlarge

a. Using Wise-FTP, navigate the left side of the screen (your local system) so that the file you wish to upload is highlighted.

b. Navigate the right side of the screen (the web server) so that the target folder on the web server is highlighted.

c. Click the button pointing to the right to upload.

2. Obtain the URL

Capture the Link in your FTP software                      Click to enlarge

a. On the right side of your screen (the web server side)locate the file you just uploaded. Right click the file name. A drop-down menu will appear.

b. Select "Copy URL"

c. The URL (Uniform Resource Locator, or Web Address) will be loaded into your computer's clipboard memory. This can be used as a link.

3. Paste the URL, or Link into an email

Paste the download link in an email                      Click to enlarge

a. Open a new email and right-click/paste the URL into the email.

b. Notice that it looks a little odd. It begins with "ftp" instead of "http". More on this later. It also contains your username and password in the link. Security breach!!!

c. FTP (File Transfer Protocol)allows downloading and uploading only if username and passwords are supplied. HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) does not. In HTTP, the download occurs if the link contains an exact path to the file, without requiring additional validation. Generally, when you download from a website, you are using HTTP protocol.

4. Change FTP Link to HTTP Link

Change FTP Link to HTTP Link                      Click to enlarge

a. You can manually change the link right in your email. If you are using HTML enabled email, be careful because while editing the link, you could easily start the download by accident. To avoid this, place your cursor just after the link, then left click. The cursor will become positioned at the end of the link. Use arrow keys to get the cursor inside the link for editing.

b. First change "ftp" to "http". Place your cursor between the "f" and "t". Type "ht". The link now starts with "fhttp://...". Use the arrow keys to back up two spaces, then use the "delete" key to delete the "f". Now the link properly starts with "http://..."

c. Again using the arrow keys, delete the portion of the link after the two slashes and before the domain. In this example, this means removing "username:password@". You are almost done!

5. Check & Go

Always check links before sending                      Click to enlarge

a. The final step is to check your link. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR LINKS! Right-click/copy the entire link, then right-click/paste it into the address bar of your browser. Hit "Enter" and the download should begin. Success!

b. To troubleshoot a problem, first be sure you did all steps correctly. If even one character is wrong, your download will not work.

Next, make sure there are NO SPACES in your filename or any of the folder names in the link. If there are, you can change the names using your FTP software (right-click on filename/rename), then generate a new link.

Beyond that, remember that Wise FTP will create a link based upon how you logged in to the FTP site. If your login occurred through a particular domain (in this case "Poingo.com"), that is the domain your link will also use. Many web servers have multiple domains pointed at them. Log in to the web server with the domain you want visible in the link.

c. Feel free to email questions to info@itickleme.com. Good luck linking!

A real honest-to-goodness link to this report.

Also by Mark Meshulam:

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